Reply to USA Today

Dear ProLife Colleague,

Remember the USA Today article complaining that recent “prolife” informed consent legislation is forcing doctors to lie to abortion-seeking patients, and urging the doctors practice civil disobedience to such “prolife” laws. Find it at http://www.aaplog.org/get-involved/letters-to-members/usa-today/

AAPLOG replied with the following letter to the editor. USA said cut it down to 200 words. We did. The still refused to print it. Freedom of the press: They are free to omit what they wish. Our full letter:

Drs. Angell and Greene ask the rhetorical question “Where are the doctors”? The answer is that we ob-Gyn’s are here and taking care of our patients, both mothers and infants and advising them of the real dangers associated with termination of pregnancy.

They summarily dismiss the idea that there is a relationship between Termination and breast cancer or psychological problems without referencing any studies. Either they are ignorant of the medical literature or they are choosing to deliberately ignore the plethora of articles which confirm the relationship of these two conditions to abortion.

The relationship with Breast cancer has been clearly shown in many articles which are nicely summarized in a meta-analysis by Dr. Joel Brind, published in the British Journal of Epidemiology and community health in 1996. In the study, 28 of 33 studies, worldwide, showed a 30% increase in the occurance of breast cancer in post abortal women. Another even more frightening study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 1994. Janet Daling’s group found an overall 50% breast cancer risk increase by age 45 for women who have had an induced abortion. A 12% lifetime chance of developing breast cancer becomes an 18% lifetime chance. Among women with a family history of breast cancer (mother, grandmother, sister, or aunt), the increase in risk was 80%. If the woman had her abortion before she was 18, the increase in risk was more than 100% (doubled!). If the woman had both risk factors (family history, and abortion before 18), the risk was incalculably high, i.e., there were 12 such young women out of 1800 in the study, and ALL TWELVE DEVELOPED BREAST CANCER BY AGE 45.

The relationship between psychological damage and termination has been clearly demonstrated in the recently published meta-analysis by Dr. Priscilla Coleman in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2011. This meta-analysis is based on 22 published studies, 36 effects, and it brings together data on 877,181 participants 163,831 of whom experienced an abortion. The increased risk after abortion: for anxiety disorders was 34%; for depression it was 37%; for alcohol use/abuse it was 110%, for marijuana use/abuse it was 220%, and for suicide behaviors it was 155%. There are a number of other very good studies in the literature on both issues which can be found on www.aaplog.org.

In summary, this article does a great disservice to women struggling with post abortal emotional issues and suggests that women should not be informed of a significant risk of breast cancer even if they have a family history of breast cancer and are young which we consider malpractice.

Doctors are not being ordered to lie but to tell the truth. The lie is when academics place political agenda over thoughtful patient care.

American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

A special interest section of the American College of Ob-Gyn